LAWFUEL – Law Newswire – Jubilation turned quickly to anger Monday after Georgia’s top prosecutor vowed he would fight a judge’s order that would have set free Genarlow Wilson, a Georgia man serving a 10-year prison sentence for a consensual sexual encounter he had as a teenager, CNN reports.
Wilson’s attorney, B.J. Bernstein, said her client would not accept a proposed plea bargain that would get him out of prison because it would require Wilson to plead guilty to a felony.
A judge ruled Monday that his conduct should have been punished as a misdemeanor.
“We’re going to keep fighting,” Bernstein told reporters at a news conference at the state Capitol.
She was flanked by civil rights leaders and black lawmakers, who expressed anger at the decision by Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker to block Wilson’s release by filing an appeal of the judge’s ruling.
Wilson, 21, was convicted of aggravated child molestation for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17, during a 2003 New Year’s Eve party in Douglas County, just west of Atlanta, Georgia.
Joseph Lowery, former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, called Baker’s decision “unnecessary, unjust and unfounded.”
“We don’t understand the reasoning or rationale of the attorney general on this issue,” Lowery said. (Watch Lowery call the top prosecutor’s action absurd and unjust )
Wilson is black, as is Baker.